CSAS Scholarly Lecture Series. "Theorizing Lower Caste Politics: A View from Bihar"
Bihar, a north Indian state of over a hundred million people, is India’s poorest state known for caste conflict, political violence, and a Maoist insurgency. At the same time, since the early 1990s a dramatic upsurge of lower caste politics swept Bihar and other parts of north India. Drawing from ethnographic fieldwork conducted since 2002, this talk examines why caste remains the most important political identity in Bihar and what this reveals about the dynamics of India’s democracy.